How to breathe correctly while riding

Are you feeling out of breath even though you haven’t ridden very far? Is the body sending us a warning? There is a possibility that your breathing method and rhythm are incorrect, which will cause stomachache, dizziness, nausea, and weakness in your limbs after a short period of riding. In this article, let’s learn how to breathe correctly while riding together.

Cycling competition

1. Respiratory system

First, we need to understand how the respiratory system works. 

When breathing, everything starts from the brain. When the brain needs oxygen, it signals to the respiratory system. The muscles and bones related to the respiratory system act quickly, the muscles pull and push the lungs to expand and contract according to the air pressure. The difference between the entering air pressure and the external environment air pressure determines the volume that flows into and out of the lungs. The mucus and vibrissa in the nose and trachea prevent foreign particles from entering the body and provide an effective barrier for our breathing.

2. The relationship between the respiratory system and riding 

What does the operation of the respiratory system have to do with the discomfort we feel while riding?

Difficulty breathing while riding

(1) When you are out of breath, it is mainly because the breathing method is incorrect, which leads to insufficient oxygen-carrying and excessive oxygen consumption during breathing, and inability to replenish the oxygen consumed by muscles, which then leads to dizziness, dry mouth, and weakness.

(2) If you ride against the wind in cold weather and mainly breathe through your mouth. Cold air directly enters the respiratory tract, causing symptoms such as sore throat, cough, runny nose, and stomachache.

(3) For amateurs, if you ride quickly and breathe through your mouth at the beginning, the outside air irritates the stomach and you will easily suffer from abdominal pain.

In conclusion, improper breathing will bring many dangerous factors.

3. Breathe correctly

How to breathe correctly is a required course for every rider. For details, please refer to the following content.

(1) Pay attention to the riding posture

The diaphragm is the main respiratory muscle, and incorrect posture will cause it to become the only respiratory muscle, to mobilize more muscles to coordinate our breathing, we need to maintain a good riding posture to improve our breathing rhythm. 

For cycling posture, you can refer to our previous articles ‘How to adjust a more suitable riding posture?’ and ‘Does your bike 100% suit you?’  to adjust our riding posture.

(2) Adjust the breathing rhythm

Before riding: Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, first, inhale deeply and slowly through the nose, then open the mouth and exhale slowly. Repeat the motion several times.

Riding on flat roads: Breathe abdominally, roll up the tongue and press it against the roof of the mouth, close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose, contract your abdomen and try to spit out all the air when exhaling.  

Climbing a hill: Inhale and Exhale quickly, and accelerate your breathing rhythm.

(3) Use the mouth to assist breathing

When breathing through the mouth, pay attention to the breathing method.

When going uphill, you need a lot of oxygen, take a deep breath through your nose, then exhale through your mouth, but not too fast. If the ramp is too long and you are short of breath, you can open your mouth to inhale, but you need to roll your tongue slightly to pre-heat the air. 

Be careful that do not gulp with your mouth.

Finally, to avoid inhaling harmful objects such as bugs, please wear a magic kerchief before riding. Breathing has an important influence on our riding rhythm and deeply affects our power output, so mastering the breathing method can make our riding more comfortable and safer.

Thanks for watching.

Regarding breathing during cycling, don’t hesitate to leave a message if you have anything to share. We are looking forward to your idea and story.  

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